Our inspiration, Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, that is Doctorji, was a man of virtues.
He founded Sangh (RSS) to unite Hindus and spent his entire life to promote and spread
the Sangh activities. Everyone has weakness. In the beginning, Doctorji also used to be a
high-tempered. But when he realized, he molded himself and became extremely calm and
patient. Following are some events from Doctorji’s life that focuses his virtues.
Strong In Mind And Body
Soon after joining the college, Keshav (Doctorji) developed intimate friendship with
students coming from different provinces. He utilized his leisure in cultivating them. He
soon became the most sought after friend of all. Hardly was there any one who
was not drawn to him. Such was his friendly and amiable disposition.
Just like his strong mind, Doctorji had also developed strong body. He used to exercise
daily without break. Milk was taken in plenty to cope with the exercises. Even in Jail, he did
not give up daily exercise. Thereby his body became well built and shapely.
Intolerant Of Egoists; Friends Of Sufferers
Righteous indignation was a special trait of Doctorji. He was prompt to react to injustice
or oppression of any kind. Once during the college vacation, he had gone to Yeotmal (a city
in Bharat). He was on an evening stroll with his friends in the city area. It was the time
when Bharat was under the control of British. On the way they saw that a British Deputy
Commissioner (D.C.) was approaching them. The British officers in those days were full of
arrogance. An unwritten code required that the local people were to move away to make
way for the British officers and salute them. This was intimated to Doctorji by his friends.
He, however, did not care and went ahead in the usual way without saluting. The Deputy
Commissioner came close, but Doctorji remained passive. The former then had to move
away him. But how could the high-strung D.C. swallow such an insult? He turned back and
burst out, “Don’t you know the etiquette here?”
With his hands in his coat pockets, Doctorji retorted, “What have I to do with the
manner here? I come from the Capital City of Nagpur. Nothing like this is observed in
Nagpur. And mind you, it’s not proper to salute an unknown person.” Seething
with anger, the D.C. departed helplessly.
Born Patriot and fearless Doctorji
Doctorji never tolerated any insult either to the nation or to national leaders. Once a
public meeting was held under the chairmanship of Liyaqat Hussain. One of the speakers
passed some disparaging remarks about Lokmanya Tilak who was a great patriot and
freedom fighter. Doctorji could not tolerate such insulting remarks on Lokmanya
Tilak. Furious Doctorji rushed to the dais and slapped the errant speaker in full public view!
Nobody dared to stop Doctorji!!
Friend of sufferers
Doctorji was full of sympathy for those caught in any kind of distress. In 1913, river
Damodar in Bengal province of Bharat was in spate. People, animals, homes, and huts were
inundated under the floods. Doctorji with his friends swung into action. They rushed to the
spot for protecting the sufferers and bringing succor in their hour of travail. He served food
to the hungry and spoke words of courage and confidence as they had lost all hopes about
their life. Keshavrao busied himself day and night. No barriers of language or region stood
in his way of service to the people.
Compassionate and care taking Doctorji
In the early days of Sangh, a day long picnic (outing) had been organized in the outskirts
of Nagpur. Everyone was expected to bring his own lunch box. Some swayamsevaks were
staying at hostels to attend school in Nagpur city. There was no “mom” to pack a lunch box
for them! They did not eat dinner the previous night, poached the food into boxes and took
it with them to the picnic next day.
The outing went off extremely well. They all hiked, played games rigorously, and
eventually became extremely hungry. For hostel boys, the small quantity of previous night’s
dinner was nowhere enough - it disappeared, leaving them still hungry. Other
swayamsevaks went home. They could eat at home again; and hostel boys had nothing.
Only Doctorji sensed this. He brought extra food for them. Unknown to them, he
also gave them his own food. Their stomachs were full and they enjoyed. Only years later,
they realized what an affectionate gesture that was from Doctorji, who was so poor that he
himself went hungry several times in a week.
Doctorji’s life has always been an inspiration for all swayamsevaks and sevikas who
are putting their efforts in uniting Hindus and making Hindu society strong.